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Fischer Mania

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Yes, that is a double meaning in the title. It looks like we're going to have to live with Bobby Fischer in the headlines for a while, unless the media storm around his detention in Japan dies down very quickly. He'll either be extradited to the US and prosecuted or given his own talk show or both. According to the treaty between Japan and the USA he MUST be handed over if the US requests it. It seems unlikely the US cancelled his passport just for laughs.

What does this all mean for that dread inanimate object, "chess"? If there's no such thing as bad publicity, it's all good. But it seems obvious that some potential chess parents and sponsors will shy away from chess because of the ill-repute Fischer brings to the game and its players.

Who knows, maybe this could be the best thing for him. Instead of being paraded around by exploiters/enablers like Philippine GM Torre, Fischer might get the treatment and reality check he has needed for years. I'm sure a nice Jewish doctor can be found to administer the medication and shock treatment. By the time Fischer gets out he'll still be younger than Korchnoi is today. He can write a sequel to "My 60 Memorable Games," play in the US Championship, join a local synagogue, and play for the unified title (not as defending champ, sorry).


Bravo Mig!!!

You are just a Genius!!!
I completely agree with your ideas!
The man needed a brain check since many years... As well as his great chess had no limits-his paranoia had no limits too!!!
I wish him to take a good look in the mirror(it's about time!) ,shave this ugly beard,
and maybe first time admit that he is also a Jew...
We all love chess, but many of us are tired of the crazy people that get attracted by this magic, magnetic game...
Bobby had only short good influence on the chess world, but the image of a crazy and paranoiac world champion,hurted chess forever...
Luckily we got few normal World champions as well (especialy lately! congratulations Kasim!!!) and let's hope they get also a big publicity, positive one for chess!!!
Best wishes,
GM Kogan Arthur

The whole Fischer thing is just so sad. But you never know, something good might become of this yet. Maybe he could be forced to do community service teaching chess or something, like Eric Cantona did with football.

A sentence of "community service teaching chess" is *highly* unlikely, given Fischer's highly publicized rants.

Mig: "I'm sure a nice Jewish doctor can be found to administer the medication and shock treatment."

Mig, you are truly the king of sarcasm!

Nice little remarks - at least equally stupid to Fisher's own ones about jew conspiracies.
I see mr. Kogan regards rejection of the jew orgin a cardinal sin, but in fact one sigle glance at Ariel Sharon's face more than suffices for bringing someone to such a decision.

Just a brief technical correction. I think he's unlikely to extradited. The U.S.-Japan extradition treaty lists 47 crimes for which extradition is available. UN-sanctions busting isn't one of them. Willful tax evasion is (but that's not what he was indited for, although the U.S. could undoubtedly get an indictment fairly quickly). Furthermore, extradition could be fought in the Japanese courts.

More likely, Japan will simply deport him as someone with no right to be in Japan. It's unlikely that anyone else will take him in the face of any U.S. pressure not to (especially as he has no valid passport). He can try applying for asylum but that's likely to be rejected in short order. You have to show 'a WELL-FOUNDED fear of persecution." Paranoia, however, genuine won't do the trick.

What interests me is the fact that the U.S. apparently cancelled his passport in Dec. 2003. He left the U.S. in August 1992 and was indited sometime in 1993 (early I think). Passports are only valid for ten years. So it would seem that he must have been able to renew his passport at some point.

The reports about his successfully eluding US authorities in the last decade are nonsense. Someone in the Justice Department (presumably in response to his recent more virulent and disgusting than usual anti-U.S. rants) decided to make him a priority and do what could have been done at almost any time (although before his recent rants, it's likely that some other country would have allowed him to stay if only because it wasn't worth the U.S.'s bother to pressure anyone over it). It's not as though his whereabouts were unknown.

'Bravo' Panfr!

It's nice to see that Bobby is not the only crazy one!

I agree that Sharon is not the best looking man and I don't really like him as a person, but what is the connection for being a Jewish???!!
Maybe you should visit Israel to discover that most of people are very good looking(especially women!) and it is also not because they are Jewish!!!
Probably it's because of there good mixed blood between all kind of origins and religions!!!
It's pitty that there are still some people that put religion( Sharon hardly keep traditions!) or origin as a reason for looking good or being a good person!
Is the same like the very stupid sayings: 'that all americans are stupid and fat, or the French have big ego, and so on'...
Come on, every person is different and in fact religions or origins don't decide the way we will think or look !
OK,anyway it's probably a lost war to explain it to some poeple...but ok,at least I know that the more clever one will get it:-) (And I also love the stupid people!!!)

Lets have Peace (and win Piece!) and love in this world!!!

GM Arthur Kogan

It all boils down to the Bush administration being extreme. Clinton was smart enough not to touch Fischer, because morally the US has no case. Fischer violated an executive order (EO) from the president. EO's give the president dictatorial powers and are unconstitutional. Clinton ignored Fischer, because he knew prosecuting Fischer, would show the US as an empire.

Bush on the other hand, is a dictator who is too stupid to realize that the Fischer case will blow up in his face and smear the US as the next Soviet Union.

General Sharon is 77+ years old and still working a very high pressure job, that of PM of Israel. The world hates him because he decisively kicked arab butt since he was 17, and he is intransigent when it comes to the survival and security of the Jewish people.
Read his bio and marvel..


"Eluding authorities" just sounds cooler than "was ignored by authorities." Fischer got a new US passport in Switzerland in 1997. Obviously the US hasn't been paying much attention to him for a long time, which really seemed like a reasonable policy to me.

People, show some respect to Fischer, he deserves that, even in his present state of mind. Making fun of him and his illness doesn't really bother you a little?

Why don't they arrest Jane Fonda whose actions were far more egregious. Any number of people have gone to Cuba and not been arrested. Why now? Is Bush slipping that badly in the polls. Are they going to arrest all US chess players becuase we're such anti-social subverse types. Bobby needs a dose of Thorazine not a jail cell.

First of all... the fact that Bobby Fischer rants and raves about unpopular political positions does not prove that he is crazy. I believe if he were crazy, he would have shot up a few places or seriously hurt someone (or himself). However, he is a very, very bitter man who was exploited by the U.S. government, bilked of his riches by religious groups and betrayed by many other people. Has anyone here ever been personally exploited in such a way? Much of his mistreatment probably hasn't come to light because it's all mixed up in his vituperative and acerbic speeches.

Second of all... the U.S. wouldn't dare incarcerate him. That would be a tremendous tactical blunder in chess terms. It would mar the entire history of Fischer defeating the Soviet bloc and thus, some of U.S. claim of defeating communism on different fronts. You are essentially tarnishing that piece of history which is very important from a propaganda standpoint. Fischer would get an outpouring of support and sympathy if he were jailed and become more emboldened. The U.S. would look even worse in the international eye and further alienate the international community.

Finally, if the U.S. wants to play a diplomatic (!), they should assess a small fine, dismiss all charges, reissue his passport and treat him with disarming respect. That may do more to bring him back in the fold than anything else and would help repair an image of the U.S. government that is currently in shambles. However, it is doubtful that the Bush Administration has the tactical acumen to see this combination. The game is chess, not checkers.

The US is painting itself into a corner. Having said "A" by issuing the letter in 1992 they didn't say "B" for 12 years. But now having done that in headlines around the world they are going to look silly if they don't follow up. They can't leave him at Narita airport for 12 years and just giving him a new passport would mean admitting a mistake, which is hard to imagine.

Legally speaking I don't think they can do anything to Fischer without extraditing him first. To reach a compromise with a fine they would have to ask Fischer to voluntarily turn himself in after Japan deports him to a third country. I suppose they could insist it be a country that also has an extradition treaty.

I don't see how the US government can "win" in this situation. Will Fischer really be jailed for his actions in former Yugoslavia? That would seem a bit of a stretch. In the meantime, Bobby will be back home spouting off his nonsense to the press.

Still, it maybe better than living out an anonymous and forgotten life in the fringes of Asia.

It will be good to have Bobby back home.

Bravo GM Kogan Arthur!!!

"The man needed a brain check since many years... " " We all love chess, but many of us are tired of the crazy people that get attracted by this magic, magnetic game... "

Do you, you and the others champs of democracy, think you got the RIGHT to force chess genius R Fischer in a mental hospital ? Who gives you the right to decide the destiny of people ? Hasn't mr Fisher the human right to be paranoic ? Oh no, no he hasn't becouse YOU ARE TIRED of crazy people... and want to put them in mental hospital.

Mental illness deserve respect no detention: this is acceptable when the paranoic brings with his actions REAL DANGER to the community...Is he, 61 years old exiliated alone and without friends man a danger for the community, does he have bad influence to our kids or what else ? Must he be forced to give good publicity to chess if he does not want or simply cannot?

Paranoic ideas ? Go in Prison. Bad Publicy to chess world? Go in Mental Hospital - Signed GM KOGAN champ of democracy and human rights.

Chess players let him and his paranoic disease in peace in his older years, let's ignore the use his name for political aims: give him the same media's attention as you'd give if he had not his famous name but another, he is for example a marcolantini or a GM Kogan.

Ah and congratulations dear GM for your ideas but I would like to see chess players to vote a referendum about DO YOU PREFER A WORLD WITH MORE GM KOGAN AND LESS GM FISHER OR VICEVERSA :-) ?

M marcolantini

I see why "Anonymous" is that way. you would think with his great knowledge of the US constitution and Bush's dictatorial tendencies (Hmm, didn't Clinton bomb Kosovo and the Sudan etc, etc, without UN approval, not to mention getting himself impeached and disbarred and disgraced?) Why not change "Anonymous" to "Ignorant"?

Hello all. Please keep the tone of the comments on the topic of the item and away from personally attacking other posters or I'll have to start deleting them. It's just too depressing. State your opinions, your facts. We are smart enough to figure it out when they contradict those of another poster. If your post disappears it was either way off topic, an attack on another poster that didn't add any information to the discussion, or both.

Thanks, Mig

why all this hate to the guy , is it because he revealed secrets about the jews acts , jews are giving us the impression that it is a pay back time , if fischer is saying somthing wrong then post the clue that he is wrong rather than saying that he needs an electric treatment , not posting any REAL clue convinces me that he is correct about jews .
one final tip to all the jews 'if you can't be as good as fischer . . dont destroy the man . . he had enought '

Mig is right and I apologize for my own despite I wrote with the idea to be ironic and not unpolite. But I were wrong and now I agree with Mig : no personal attack among us chessplayers.
My opinion please: this rule for all of us included one of us that is Robert J. Fischer: we have no right to attak him as I have no right to attak other posters. Of course I do not refer to mig's humor, we all appreciate his articles, I refer to some following posters and I totally agree with marcuss one

The way Fisher played Chess during his peak and reign was God-like. His individualism was his Strength when he singlehandedly destroyed the Soviet chess machinery...He lives for chess and chess alone..we could not blame hime for what he became...Ho showed us the beauty of the game...

I'm not sure why people are saying Fischer is crazy or mentally disturbed. Is it because he's spewing hatred for America and the Jewish community? This does not make one crazy or even clinically pathological. Fischer is a VERY bitter man, but not crazy. Exploitation under immense pressure created this environment and America has a way of bringing bitterness out in exploited people. Trust me... I see it all the time with my own eyes.

I think someone said that the general non-chess public know more about Fischer's anti-Jewish comments than about his Sicilian. That may be the fault of the American chess community in specific and the American government in general. You mean to tell me the U.S. couldn't do better after such a momentous event as the once that occurred in 1972? Can you imagine what he did for chess?Fischer deserved much better than what we got. History would have been much different.

Hello Daaim. Have you read the postings on his website or listened to the interviews? I suppose someone can hate Jews or Americans or blacks or any other group unconditionally without being mentally disturbed. But if you'll allow me to play a rude devil's advocate for a moment, copy the text from that page, paste it into a word processor, and run a "replace all" on the words "Jew" and "Jewish" and "Zionist" to change them to "black" or "African" or "nigger" and see how it reads to you. Still sound like a bitter but reasonable set of arguments?

Fischer certainly deserved and deserves better, but the last thing he needs are people to apologize for and cover up his misdeeds. Sticking our heads in the sand and not mentioning what he has become serves no one. We need to educate the public and move on, not pretend it's all right. It is only charity and pity that make chess fans credit his statements to illness instead of the pure hatred they represent.


Take it easy.

It may seem you´re attacking the guy.
See your post of July 19.

Daaim, being an antisemite is not the same thing as being crazy. But if you read Fischer's letter about the 31 stolen empty cardboard boxes or if you listen to the radio interviews on Fischer's website, in which he says things like "(the movie The Truman Story) is exactly what happened in my life" you may agree that "crazy" is a good approximation.

Fischer problem is that he is really sucks. All his words is words of hate. He can not play chess right now, as he played in 72, we all understand that, and as a person,he is not interesting one,cause he can not say anything smart,just stupid antisemitic and antiamerican crap. Sad story...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 16, 2004 11:52 PM.

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